It started as a throw away remark. “If you do have to pull out just give me a call.” Oops. The text came a couple of weeks later to ask if I would step in at the last minute to do the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon. Somehow it seemed mean to say “but of course I wasn’t serious.” So four days later I was on the way to Inverlael.
Saturday’s route was brilliant. One of our last checkpoints was at the summit of Seana Bhraigh and we took an interesting shortcut across the rim of the corrie. We had a fantastic view across to a superb ridge leading up to Creag an Duine. Apparently it is a good scramble but it really is in the middle of nowhere and I doubt it sees much traffic. The mid-camp was in the glen below and we looked up at the ridge from our tent door. As we started early and didn’t have any major navigational traumas we managed to get to the mid-camp in time to pick one of the better camp spots. Only a few other teams had arrived before us and we were just ahead of a brief rain shower. We squashed into our tent listening to the rain pitter patter down and felt smug… and slightly sore.
Sunday morning dawned clear and bright. Another day favouring runners rather than navigators. We weren’t too happy about that but could hardly complain about the scenery. To the north was a fantastic panorama of classic tops including Stac Pollaidh. Later on we were favoured with one of the best views of An Teallach I’ve ever seen. Admittedly, I’m not too sure how many of the LAMM competitors were fully appreciating the landscape. By that stage heads were down, legs were pumping and jelly baby bags were rapidly emptying.
Back to Inverlael and we were really chuffed to discover that we’d come 13th overall in C class and 1st females. Well worth the stiff muscles and rucksack chafed raw patches. Another fantastic LAMM. It was just great to get out and do some fell running for a change. I can’t even remember the last time I went fell running as this whole year has been spent on paths and tracks. The two things are quite different! Best bit of running – heading down the grassy slope of spot height 906 to the col between it and Seana Bhraigh. Worst bit – tussocks, so many tussocks!
Major thanks to Di Gilbert (Di’s blog) for asking me to go running with her and for being such an awesome partner! Also for beasting me round the hills to the point where I can barely hobble as far as the kettle and thus have absolutely no ability to avoid sitting or writing!